Treatment of type I ROP with intravitreal bevacizumab or laser photocoagulation according to retinal zone

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To investigate the outcome of intravitreal bevacizumab (IVB) compared with laser photocoagulation in type I retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).


Case records of 54 consecutive very low birth weight (VLBW) infants with type I ROP (posterior ROP, n=33; peripheral zone II, n=21) who were treated either with IVB (n=37) or laser photocoagulation (n=17) between 2011 and 2015 were retrospectively evaluated.


Patients with posterior ROP displayed significantly faster regression of active ROP within 12 days (range 9–15 days) if treated with IVB compared with laser photocoagulation, where active ROP regressed within 57 days (range 28–63 days) (p>0.001). No difference was observed in peripheral zone II.


Five of seven patients (12%) who developed a recurrence in both eyes after IVB required additional laser photocoagulation within a mean of 12.7 weeks (11.3–15.6 weeks) after the previous treatment. After laser photocoagulation one patient with posterior ROP developed macular dragging and another patient developed a temporary exudative retinal detachment in both eyes. 12 months after treatment the spherical equivalent was not statistically significant different between IVB and laser photocoagulation in posterior ROP patients. However, IVB lead to a significant lower spherical equivalent in infants with posterior ROP (+0.37 dioptres, range −0.5 to +1.88 dioptres) compared with peripheral zone II (+3.0 dioptres range +2.0 to +4.0 dioptres, p<0.001).


IVB leads to faster regression of active ROP in infants with posterior ROP compared with laser photocoagulation. Spherical equivalent after 12 months was comparable in those treated with IVB and laser photocoagulation, but it was significantly lower in posterior ROP than in peripheral zone II.

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